As a teacher, impacting the life of young students while helping them realize their potential has been my greatest reward. Receiving the Presidential Award is an exhilarating, yet humbling, honor that highlights what has already been a rich and gratifying career. This award actually belongs to all the students, teachers, colleagues, and parents who have played an integral role in my career. They have been, and continue to be, the reason for my continued pursuit of professional excellence.

Carlos Montero Miami, FL | 7-12, Science, 2013

Carlos Montero became a teacher in 2004 and currently teaches 9th-12th grade AP Chemistry at University School at Nova Southeastern University, where he is also the science department chair. Previously, Carlos taught at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in the Miami-Dade County school district. Carlos' career was forever changed when he encountered Modeling Instruction for Science Education. In Carlos' classroom, students learn science by doing science. A typical unit begins with careful observation of a chemical phenomenon followed by students developing particle level models to account for their observation. Using multiple representations of their models, students engage in whole-class scientific discourse until consensus is reached. During the process, Carlos is only a facilitator who fosters students' creativity and independent thinking while ensuring that the appropriate scientific model is agreed upon. Carlos conducts summer workshops to introduce teachers to Modeling Instruction. He enjoys the interaction with teachers and has started STEM Teachers South Florida, to facilitate professional exchange locally. Carlos serves on the Executive Board of the American Modeling Teachers Association. Carlos holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Penn State University, as well as teaching certificates in chemistry and gifted education. He earned National Board Certification in 2008.